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8 – HSC CM2: Human Growth and Development

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1.1 Identify the life stages of human development.

The six main phases of a human being’s life span are as follows:


From birth up to about 24 months of age is known as infancy. At this age, children are still in the process of learning and growing, but they are making great strides in the development of their motor and cognitive abilities.


Ages 24 months and up to 12 years old make up the childhood years. Children at this age are undergoing a period of rapid development and learning as they come into their own and begin to form their unique identities.


Typically, a person’s adolescent years span from 12 to 17 years of age. As they become more self-reliant and curious about who they are, teenagers go through dramatic shifts in their brains, bodies, and emotions. Adolescents may try out new identities by engaging in a variety of activities and assuming a wide range of roles.

Early adulthood

A person’s early adult years typically span the years between the ages of 18 and 30. Those in their early twenties are at a pivotal point in their lives, transitioning from childhood to adulthood. The transition into adulthood is often marked by a yearning for autonomy and personal discovery. The adolescent years is a time of self-discovery and the cultivation of life goals. They may try out numerous identities, occupations, and romantic partnerships. It’s a time of growth and development and coming into one’s own.

Middle adulthood

The years between 30 and 65 are often defined as middle adulthood. Between the onset of young adulthood and the onset of old age is the period known as middle adulthood. The prime of life is the period of time between the ages of 25 and 54, when most people reach their physical and psychological peaks and feel the most grounded and secure in their lives. It’s also a period when individuals tend to be more productive and happy in their relationships and professional lives.

Late adulthood

From roughly the age of 65 onwards, this period of life is considered to be late adulthood. It is common for people in their late adult years to become less active and more sedentary. There is often a decline in mental acuity and an increase in memory loss alongside this. The risks of developing age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s increase dramatically in people who have reached this point in their lives.

Other answers in the full document:

  • 1.2. Describe social, emotional, cognitive and physical developments within each life stage.
  • 2.1. Describe theories of human growth and development.
  • 3.1. Explain significant life events that can occur within each stage of human development.
  • 3.2. Analyse the impact that significant life events have on individuals.

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